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Mommy Pick-Up Lines

Since Grey and I are home part-time, I think it’s really important for him to get out and socialize with other babies his age. Maybe it’s even more so important for me to get out and socialize with other women as well. You know you are in desperate need of some adult interaction when the following phrases are the only things you have said in the last four hours: “No, no. Be careful. Say bye- bye to Daddy! Pet the dog gently.” A friend of mine suggested The Sandbox, which is a small, indoor playroom for children. The name alone made me chuckle a bit – it sounded like the local towny hangout for stay-at-home moms except this place features ride-on toys and bounce houses rather than a fully stocked bar and a juke box. Nevertheless, we decided to check it out.

Do you remember going to the bar when you were single? Ok – maybe the details are a little hazy…. but you remember the gist of it. You pay the cover charge at the door; you head inside, choose a seat at the bar or grab a table, check out the crowd. You sip your cocktail for the sake of something to do as you wait for your friends to show up. You scope out the guys – making a mental list of the ones you’ll consider giving a chance (Wait a second, let’s be honest, you weren’t that picky. You’d give most of them a chance if it meant a free drink. I don’t blame you. We were all poor after college). So eventually you spot a guy that you recognize from your apartment complex. You casually walk by him on the way to the bathroom, getting close enough to say hello. You make the first move (way to go, girl!) and you chat for a while. As the conversation ends and he walks away, you kick yourself for not giving him your number. Next time, maybe. It’s not like you won’t see him around your building or in the laundry room at your complex.

When I entered The Sandbox, I had a strangely familiar experience. I paid my $5.50 at the door (this hangout charges a cover). We hung up our coats and bags and began to scope out the crowd. Grey checked out the toys as I took a look around to see if there were any other mothers my age who I might be interested in meeting. There were a few small groups of women chatting together while their children played. No doubt these were organized playgroups that came together. There were one or two sets of grandparents, struggling to keep up with their busy grandchildren. There was a dad with his daughter – I always love to see a dad out with the kids on his own during the day. As much as times have changed, a stay-at-home dad is still not the norm.

Then, I spotted a few girls like me, who obviously came alone with their kids. I had a serious flashback to my singe lady days – I was prepping myself to make the first move. Grey was pushing a walker, so I casually helped him steer closer to a girl who had a baby close to his age. I dug into my stash of mommy pick up lines, which is limited considering I am new at this. “Your baby is so cute! How old is he?” I realize this is not original, but you have to start somewhere. It’s not like I said, “Hey, you come here often?” It turned out that her son was a month older than Grey and she worked in education as well. We hit it off and the boys played together for a while. The nice thing about parenthood is that there is no shortage of things to discuss. Although, you know you have a really good mommy-friend when you can get together and avoid talking about your own children at all. Maybe even discuss normal woman things, like which Kardashian is currently pregnant and who you are voting for on The Voice. Eventually, the boys got tired and hungry. I said goodbye to my new friend and Grey waved “bye-bye” to his. As she walked away, I regretted not planning to meet up again or giving her my number.

All in all, I’d say it was a successful social learning experience for both Greyson and I. He is getting better at playing with other babies (rather than pulling their hair) and I am perfecting my mommy-pick up skills. Maybe next time, I’ll work up the nerve to ask a woman out on a play date.

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